The research-driven pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim experienced slight growth in the first half of 2015. The Consumer Health Care and Animal Health businesses in particular performed very well. The Prescription Medicines business remains stable. “In the past few months, we have pushed ahead with updating our portfolio with our market launches, thereby not only creating growth potential but also taking advantage of it,” explained Professor Andreas Barner, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors. “We have reacted to the changing environment in the pharmaceuticals industry, particularly in markets of importance to us, USA and Japan, with sustainable, long-term initiatives to boost efficiency.”
Market access for prescription medicines is becoming more difficult worldwide. In general, rising costs in healthcare systems are leading to increased price pressure. Internationally operating pharmaceutical companies are faced with major challenges both as a result of the fast-changing US market and the tougher competition from generics in Japan. Viewed across all areas of business, net sales at Boehringer Ingelheim in the first half of 2015 increased by about 2% to around 7.4 billion euros as compared with the same period in the previous year. In euro terms, the company was actually able to increase its net sales by 13%. The euro’s relatively weakness compared to most other currencies led to this very positive development in the conversion.
Numerous new medicines submitted for registration and approved
In the first six months of 2015, Boehringer Ingelheim was pleased with several submissions and approvals received for new medicines. For example, idarucizumab, a specific reversal agent to the oral anticoagulant PRADAXA® used to counteract the anticoagulant effect in rare, critical emergencies, has been submitted for approval in several countries – including various countries in the European Union (EU), the USA and Canada – and is currently being examined by the health authorities. GIOTRIF® (afatinib), the first oncology medicine from Boehringer Ingelheim for the treatment of patients with a specific sub-category of advanced lung cancer, is now approved in over 60 countries. VARGATEF® (nintedanib), the second medicine from the Boehringer Ingelheim oncology pipeline, has so far received approval in the EU, as well as in Norway, Russia and Macao.
Further milestones: Boehringer Ingelheim received EU approval for SYNJARDY® and US approval for GLYXAMBI®, both medicines used for treating type 2 diabetes. OFEV®, against the rare respiratory disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), has been approved for use in the EU and has been available in Germany since March. In addition, STIOLTOTM RESPIMAT®, used for the permanent treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), was approved for use in the US. In July, the initial European countries also gave the green light for the use of the medicine in this indication under the name SPIOLTO® RESPIMAT®.
Bulk of net sales in Prescription Medicines
Prescription Medicines, Boehringer Ingelheim’s biggest business, achieved net sales of 5,369 million euros in the first half of the year. With a currency-adjusted increase of 1%, this corresponds to stable growth (+12% in euro terms). As in previous years, the best-selling product was SPIRIVA®, for treating COPD, accounting for sales of 1,763 million euros. One of the main growth drivers in this business in the years to come will be diabetes. In the first half of 2015, net sales from TRAJENTA®/JENTADUETO®, for treating type 2 diabetes, increased by a currency-adjusted 22% to 419 million euros (+38% in euro terms).
In the first half of 2015, net sales from over-the-counter (OTC) medicines amounted to 782 million euros, thus producing currency-adjusted growth of around 8% (+15% in euro terms). This corresponds to around 10% of the Group’s net sales for the period. The core international brands are BUSCOPAN®, DULCOLAX®, MUCOSOLVAN®, PHARMATON® and BISOLVON®.
In the Animal Health business, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved currency-adjusted growth of 11% in the reporting period, amounting to 662 million euros (+23% in euro terms).
The Biopharmaceuticals business, in which Boehringer Ingelheim is exclusively involved with industrial customers, grew by 24% to 214 million euros in the first half of the year.